Leadership Wired Blog

Excellence: A Sure Route to Influence


“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” ~ King Solomon (Proverbs 22:29)

Excellence is the gap between average and exceptional. It’s the ability to exceed expectations and consistently deliver superior quality. In developing habits of excellence, leaders gain influence and stand out from the crowd. By cultivating a culture of excellence, a business attracts customers and wins their loyalty.

Excellence Means...

1) Consistency

I agree with Aristotle:  “Excellence is not an act, it’s a habit.” To gain a reputation for excellence necessitates delivering results whenever you’re called upon. Hit-and-miss performers are neither trusted nor respected. On the other hand, those who repeatedly demonstrate competence gain credibility, and their credibility paves the way to influence.

2) Improvement

Legendary basketball coach Pat Riley defines excellence as “the gradual result of always striving to be better.” People with a spirit of excellent continuously improve; they make sure to be better tomorrow than they are today. Excellent leaders are voracious learners. Since they’re constantly growing, they always have fresh insights to impart to their teammates and new skills to contribute to their organization.

3) Creativity

Creativity attracts others to you and to your ideas. We enjoy interacting with people who open up our imaginations through the originality of their work. Creativity also gives rise to excellence by facilitating problem-solving. Sometimes creative persons break new ground; at other times they simply find innovative ways to apply existing concepts. Either way, they add value by enabling their organization to move beyond the obstacles that had previously held it back.

4) Going the Extra Mile

“To excel” literally means to go beyond average. Responsible people can be counted upon to do what is expected of them, but excellent people routinely do more than asked. Persons of excellence deliver results in such a way that leaves their customers pleasantly surprised.


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